SEATTLE—September 15, 2017—The Seattle Housing Authority is inviting the public to join in celebrations at Yesler Terrace and learn more about the transformation of Yesler into a vibrant, new mixed-income community.

On Friday, September 29 from 10:00 a.m. to noon, there will be a Ribbon Cutting ceremony at SHA’s newest residential building at Yesler, Hoa Mai Gardens. The program will include a welcoming by a Hoa Mai Gardens resident, unveiling of art by a Yesler resident, remarks by community leaders involved in the project and hosted building tours. Hoa Mai Gardens is located at 221 10th Avenue S in Seattle, behind the Yesler Community Center.

On Saturday, September 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., along S Washington St near 10th Ave S, behind the Yesler Community Center, there will be a Connect with Yesler street festival with food, music, tours, giveaways and activities for all ages.

With the completion of Hoa Mai Gardens, its third new residential building to open as part of Yesler redevelopment, SHA is well underway toward replacing all 561 older Yesler housing units with new apartments for the low-income residents at Yesler. In addition to replacing all of the older units, SHA’s plan calls for adding more than 1,000 additional affordable homes, along with more than 2,500 market-rate rental apartments developed by private development partners.

Yesler Terrace was the city’s first public housing, built in 1940 by the then newly established Seattle Housing Authority. The redevelopment of Yesler Terrace began in 2013 after SHA, with the help of a Citizens Review Committee comprised of Yesler residents, surrounding neighbors, city officials, nonprofit service partners and citizens at large, shaped a plan for replacing Yesler Terrace’s aging housing and deteriorated infrastructure with a new community for Yesler residents and adding a significant amount of new housing for people across a spectrum of income levels.

Amenities in the transformed Yesler neighborhood that have been completed, are under construction or in planning include a large central park with views of Mt. Rainier and Puget Sound, a fully accessible pedestrian pathway connecting Yesler with adjacent neighborhoods, the Yesler Hillclimb joining Yesler with Little Saigon and the Chinatown-International District, a green-street loop with exercise stations, public art, pocket parks, community gardening plots and a new streetcar line. The community will continue to expand its wide range of services for low-income residents to help them with increased education, health and employment opportunities.

Hoa Mai Gardens was named for a flower symbolic in the Vietnamese culture. It has a total of 111 apartments, a community room, a central play area and courtyard, community garden plots and community services space that will be occupied by a youth-serving group. The building sits at the top of the Yesler Hillclimb, is a block from bus lines and the new First Hill Streetcar stop at Yesler Way and Broadway. There are accessible units for people with disabilities as well as “Breathe Easy” apartments, designed with special ventilation and materials to reduce incidences of asthma and other respiratory problems. The building features energy-efficient appliances and lighting, solar hot water, and a rooftop rainwater collection system that supplies water for all of the toilets in the building.

Yesler redevelopment is supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, and funding from the City of Seattle and JPMorgan Chase. Construction of Hoa Mai Gardens was made possible by funders JP Morgan Chase, Union Bank and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.

SHA’s first new residential building at Yesler, Kebero Court, opened in mid-2015, followed by the second, Raven Terrace, in early 2016. The next to open at Yesler after Hoa Mai Gardens will be called Red Cedar, 119 apartments for people with low incomes scheduled to open in early 2019.

Media Contact: 

Kerry Coughlin 
Director of Communications
Seattle Housing Authority

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